Skiing with kids can be rewarding and fun, yet challenging! Here are some tips and tricks that will get your family out enjoying time on the slopes.
Buying ski equipment tends to get expensive, so I always look for sales, buy used gear, or borrow from friends or family members. Craigslist, 2nd Tracks, ski swaps, or garage sales are great resources when looking for used ski gear.
Another option is renting children’s ski gear for the year so you don’t have to worry about buying new gear every year or two.
Being dressed appropriately can make all the difference. Again, look at second hand stores, Level 9, Sierra Trading Post, Columbia Outlet, or REI Garage to outfit the family. Invest in a good pair of gloves or mittens. Cold hands are no fun! For the bottom you will need a quick drying base layer, ski pants, and ski socks. Again, for the top, wear a base-layer, a mid layer jacket or vest, and a ski coat. Goggles keeps the wind and snow out of eyes, and so nice to have. Lastly, a thin hat under the helmet or a balaclava keeps your head and ears warm.
2. Getting out the door
A saying my husband learned when he was younger, is “Skis, boots, poles; hat, goggles, gloves; parka, pants, pass, helmet.” Everytime we leave the house, he goes through the list. This prevents getting up to the resort and realizing we’ve forgotten something. There have been many times when we are running back in the house grabbing an item he just called out.
3. Keeping kids happy while skiing
When skiing with children be willing to take breaks, and call it a day, early, if needed. My son loves to take breaks and is ready to leave the resort by 1:00. I like to give him that control so he wants to come back skiing each time, instead of dreading it. As he gets older I am hoping to increase our ski time.
I also let our kids choose what runs we ski. This gives them the control! Playing follow the leader decreases arguments between children about which way to go.
While riding the lift, we play games. I spy with my little eye, counting chairs, or pointing out things we find interesting helps pass the time.
Recently, I have begun skiing with a small backpack and I love it. The kids are hungry? Grab a granola bar and eat it on the lift. Too cold and need a little break? Hydroflask full of hot chocolate saves the day. Too hot and need to take off a layer? Put it in the backpack. Hands are cold? Hand warmers to the rescue.
4. Ski school is your friend
When my daughter was younger, my husband would take her to the resort and she was ready to leave after one or two runs. He wanted to keep things positive, so he would come home, but it was so much effort to get all the way up there for a short time.The next season, we enrolled her in ski school and voila, she learned how to ski all day.
Remember the most important part is keeping it positive and fun. It is wonderful to spend time together skiing as a family.